The Eaglewatch in Iraq – August 2019, part 1

16 August 2019 | Eaglewatch in Iraq

Several days ago Bartek Rutkowski and the team went to Iraqi Kurdistan.

It is the first visit this year. Apart from Bartek, the team includes also dr. Krzysztof Błecha, the founder of Children Aid Foundation in Żywiec, which has supported us from the beginning, his daughter Dorota, who is a medical student, and Andrzej Ochał, who can include in his CV several visits to Africa in the Foreign Legion ‘s uniform and a post of a councilman of Prabuty. Two years ago we visited his hometown and thanks to Andrzej’s involvement we could collect funds in a local parish.

These people have been associated with us for a long time.

We have implemented various projects in cooperation with the Children Aid Foundation in Żywiec, such as the building of a house for an internally displaced family, the sewing workshops for women released from ISIS captivity, and many others. Before the trip, Andrzej himself organized a fundrising for help which has been provided during this trip. The whole expedition began on Monday and will last for a week. Yesterday evening I received the first report from the team regarding activities that have been completed so far. I will share some of them with you, as described by Bartek.

My eight visit to Iraq has been very intense.* We have managed to do a lot, although not everything was planned.

Sometimes we simply need to react to a changing situation and to adapt to current conditions. Luckily, this time the resources at our disposal were sufficient to match the events. Before I talk about that, I will start from the beginning.

One of the purposes we came here for was to hand on funds to our friends from Gilgamesh Organization for Development and Relief for a joint project of the Eaglewatch and Caritas Poland. The aim of the project financed by Caritas is to buy powder milk for children the regions which have suffered most from terrorist incursions. It is our first joint action and I hope not the last.

We have also visited Hazar – a young Yazidi girl who has metastatic stomach cancer.

We could not visit our friends from SCO (Shengal Charities Organization) who are our front squad and are always on the front line of all our activities undertaken to help the needy.

Not long time ago they moved to a new headquarters which they are now trying to equip. Eearlier they had three rooms at their disposal – altogether not more than 30 m2. That was were they organized sewing workshops, educational activities, language lessons and many other activities for women and children living in a camp for internally displaced persons. Conditions were very hard over there. It was difficult to organize support in such a place. From now on it will be better. Especially that dr Błecha offered help immediately and following our style (namely taking a decision in no time) he supplied the newly-created centre with chairs, a fridge and other necessary equipment, and paid for fixing of doors and windows. It is necessary to have proper conditions for learning and returning to the community. Women that went through so much need to feel safe in order to function normally.

Shamo from a local SCO foundation , which has been cooperating with us for the last 3 years, and his daughter

Christopher has helped many people by his experience of manual therapy. In two days “by the way” admitted almost 20 patients! It was not intentional and came out spontaneously.I am glad that this is how we adapted our team members’ skills to the situation we found. Dorota – the daughter of a doctor who is a medical student, has an amazing gift of making contact with women and children, as well as great organizational skills in cooperation with local organizations.

We also visited our friends from an Assyrian chairty organization, handing on to them medical equipment.

Due to recent tensions in Qaraqosh and fire exchange that took place there last week, we want them to have protection in the form of first aid kits and personal protection equipment. We hope they will never have to use them.

Obviously, we could not ommit the educational center Ourbridge to which we handed on monthly support.

By the way we have learnt about plans of its enlargement which will allow more children to receive educational help here.

We are continuing on our journey. Greetings, Bart

* it has been the sixth Eaglewatch’s visit to Iraq within the three and a half year of its operation – ed. David Czyż

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